Although this site is primarily dedicated to acoustic guitar strings, I often get asked about the best electric guitar strings. As a result, I have decided to write an article that details some of my favorites for electric guitars. I do not intend to get into the same level of depth that I did when I discussed acoustic strings; my purpose for this article is only to highlight some of my favorite electric strings that I think are worth a try.
Ernie Ball Slinky Cobalt
Ernie Ball has introduced an interesting and new concept with their cobalt line of strings. The alloy the strings are made from contains a large cobalt component, which has some interesting effects when playing on an electric guitar. A guitar pickup is essentially a magnet, so the magnetic properties of a string have a large effect on the tone of the instrument. The large cobalt component in these strings means they interact differently with a pickup than a standard steel string, which gives them a unique sound. These strings are bright, with clear and concise highs and strong bass response. They are also very comfortable.
Ernie Ball makes their cobalt line in various gauges, so whether you play light or heavy strings, they make a set for you. Additionally, users on Amazon.com give them an average of 4.8 out of 5.0 stars. Overall, they are interesting and unique enough to give them a try, whether you are new to guitar or a seasoned veteran. As an added bonus, they aren’t that expensive!
Elixir Nanoweb Electric Guitar Strings
The things that make Elixir strings so great for an acoustic guitar are the same things that make them good for an electric guitar. These strings have a thin coating on them, which protects against oils in your fingers, moisture in the air and other agents that lead to string corrosion over time. In simpler terms, they last a long time. A very long time. Although they are priced slightly higher than other sets, they are actually a high value because you have to replace them less often. If you brutalize your strings and find them wearing out quickly, these are certainly worth a try due to their extreme longevity.
Additionally, Elixir’s electric guitar strings are well rated by users, receiving a 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com. They are available in a number of gauges from light to heavy. While they aren’t the lowest priced strings on the market, they are still affordable enough that you can try a set to see if you like them.
The XL’s made by D’Addario are one of the “standards” so to speak. This is D’Addario’s best selling set of electric guitar strings. They sound good, meaning they are bright and clear and they offer excellent sustain. In terms of longevity, these won’t last nearly as long as the Elixirs above, however they also cost substantially less. In fact, you can get roughly three sets for the same price as one set of the Elixirs. They are available in a number of gauges, and can be bought in bulk for even more cost savings.
These strings don’t offer anything particularly unique when compared to the average string, but sometimes that’s exactly what you want. The D’Addario XL’s are good a no frills, no nonsense set of strings with an average of 4.6 out of 5.0 start on Amazon.com. This is a great set to have in your guitar case as a primary set, but they also make for a nice backup set in the event that you experience an untimely string break.
So there you have it! These are just a few of the strings that I like for my electric guitars. As usual, it is important to note that there are many high quality strings out there, so don’t be afraid to try a few out! You can search Amazon.com to check out some of the other offerings out there!